Prosecutor: Kansas congressman blamed staff for registration


FILE – In this Aug. 26, 2019, file photo, U.S. Rep. Steve Watkins, R-Kan., makes a point during a town hall meeting, in Topeka, Kan. Watkins, a freshman Kansas congressman who had listed a UPS Inc. store as his residence on a voter registration, was criminally charged Tuesday, July 14, 2020, with four crimes, including unlawful voting. (AP Photo/John Hanna, File)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A prosecutor says that a freshman Kansas congressman misled a sheriff’s detective by blaming staff for a problem with his state voter registration form that led to three felony criminal charges.

Republican Rep. Steve Watkins listed a Topeka UPS Inc. store postal box as his residence for voter registration purposes for more than three months starting in late August 2019.

The charges against him in Shawnee County include hampering law enforcement by providing false information to the sheriff’s detective in a February interview.

A deputy Shawnee County district attorney provided new details about the allegation in a Monday court filing.

Watkins has called the charges “bogus.”

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